orangeleader.com (Orange, Texas)

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March 6, 2013

Texas awards $60K in contest to kill hogs

(Continued)

LUBBOCK, Texas —

The grant money comes from funds appropriated by the Legislature to combat the hog problem.

Since the challenge began in 2010, 23,684 hogs have been killed. More than 4,200 additional hogs have been killed outside the months of competition, also with grant money awarded.

An estimated 2.6 million hogs cause $550 million in damage and destruction annually in Texas, which is more than any other state. The hogs reproduce so prolifically that wildlife specialists often use this saying: 'When a feral hog has six piglets, only eight are expected to survive.'

With their razor-sharp tusks, the hogs shred fields and pastures and wreck ecosystems by wallowing in riverbeds and streams. Even perennials planted at graves aren't safe. In recent years, the hogs are increasingly showing up in urban neighborhoods around the state.

Feral hogs can stand 3 feet tall and weigh up to 400 pounds. They make meals of lambs, kid goats, baby calves, newborn fawns and ground-nesting birds. The hogs compete for food and roaming room with many native species of wildlife.

The animals commonly destroy urban yards, parks and golf courses, as well as rangeland, pastures, crops, fencing, wildlife feeders and other property. Additionally, they contribute to E. coli and other diseases in Texas streams, ponds and watersheds.

The hogs also are a road hazard. Motorists sustain an estimated $1,200 in damage per hog collision.

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